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4 Lego teams from Orleans put smarts and creativity on display

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

BUFFALO – Bryce Wilson, left, and Wesley Parker react after the Lego robot they helped create performed a task during Saturday’s qualifying tournament at the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School.

Bryce and Wesley are members of the “Battery Boys” team from the Orleans County 4-H program. Orleans County sent four teams to the competition. In addition to having to build and program a Lego robot, teams had to research an issue with recycling and propose a solution for helping the environment.

The Battery Boys created collection boxes for used batteries which they said could be placed at sites in the community.

The “Three Musketeers” receive instructions from a judge during Saturday’s competition. The Musketeers include, from left: Zachary Grinnell, Nate Scott Avery and Nick Burke.

The Musketeers for their project researched used eye glasses and thought of ways to have more reused.

Zachary Neal of Albion is a member of the KOWZ (Kids Only Work Zone) team. His hat has buttons from other teams he has met in the past three years.

The KOWZ team gets its robot ready to compete at a table with obstacles and challenges. The teams have 2 1/2 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible. Only two members of the team should be at the table, and members can swap out during the competition.

The teams started meeting in September to design and program their robot, using different attachments for tasks.

They also had to create a display board and research a recycling topic. KOWZ researched ways to recycle sneakers. Some sneakers are ground up with those pieces used at playgrounds and on playing fields.

The Robo Foam team watches its robot complete a task. Team members include, from left: Jacob Foote, Isaac Becker (in back), Reuben Rivers, James Michael Beach, Cole Moyle and Jaiden Farrell.

The Robo Foam team for its project suggested ways to reduce the use of Styrofoam and also made a Syro-Shredder that turns Styrofoam cups into packing peanuts.

The four teams from Orleans County are part of the 4-H program led by Marlene and Erik Seielstad of Albion. About 25 kids were in the program from Orleans County.

There were about 170 students participating in the competition on Saturday from about 20 teams. Four teams advanced to a regional competition next month at the University of Rochester. None of the Orleans County teams were able to get past the qualifying round.

Many of the teams put together colorful outfits for the competition.